Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Tuesday added Iowa and Oklahoma to the list of states from which people entering Chicago need to quarantine themselves for two weeks because of rising coronavirus levels, and wouldn’t rule out eventually adding Wisconsin to the list as well if warranted.

The quarantine order lacks teeth, as officials have hardly any ability to monitor the movements of Chicagoans or visitors.

The mayor acknowledged it’s largely an honor system proposition, but said she thinks people are adhering to the rules.

And she said it helps to let people know they’re traveling to states with serious outbreaks.

“A lot of this is about, also, raising awareness that if you’re coming from one of these areas where you’re seeing case rates explode or you’re seeing hospitalizations and ICU beds, see an increase in positivity rates, the percentage of people testing positive, it is, I think, an important thing to raise the consciousness of people that are living in or coming from those locations about what their obligations are if they want to travel,” she said.

As for the possible addition of Wisconsin, which has seen increasing cases in the past week, Lightfoot said her administration is keeping an eye on the neighbor to the north where many Chicagoans vacation.

“I don’t want to speculate about what might happen, but suffice to say we’re paying very close attention everywhere around us, and particularly states around the Midwest that border Chicago,” she said.

Starting on July 6, Lightfoot ordered people traveling into Chicago to spend 14 days quarantined if they were coming from spending more than 24 hours in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

Iowa and Oklahoma will be added to the list effective this Friday, according to the city.


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